PAR Talks Presenters
As Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, at PBS, Lesli Rotenberg is responsible for the strategic direction of a dynamic media service that supports the entire ecosystem in which children learn, including parents, teachers and the community.
With a focus on kindergarten readiness, Ms. Rotenberg leads a cross-disciplinary team charged with content production, digital development, multi-platform asset distribution, licensing, educational product creation and marketing and communications for PBS KIDS, the #1 children’s educational media brand. Ms. Rotenberg has led the development and distribution of top-rated PBS KIDS media properties that help children ages 2-8 build science, literacy, math, critical thinking and life skills, among others.
Ms. Rotenberg oversees PBS’ efforts to support and empower PreK-12th grade educators, helping improve learning outcomes for students across America. Ms. Rotenberg has positioned PBS and local member stations as key partners for teachers through content, community and professional learning resources tailored to their needs.
Julia Barfield, Senior Manager, Policy & Programs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Center for Education and Workforce
Paula Polito, Owner/Director of Bear-y Cherry Tree Child Development Center and Chair of the Early Childhood Care and Education Advisory Council for the Louisiana Department of Education
Kenneth Francis, Director, Policy and Child Advocacy, Agenda for Children
Sandy Holloway (Special Guest Respondent), President and District 3 Representative, Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE)
Conference & Luncheon Program
9:30 – 10:00 a.m. – PAR Membership & Board of Directors Meeting
10:00 – 11:30 a.m. – PAR Talks
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. -Patron’s Reception (invitation required; Presenting and Gold table sponsors only)
12:00 – 1:30 p.m. – Luncheon with Keynote Speaker Lesli Rotenberg
Co-Chairs: Charles Landry & Virginia Freeman Rowan
Verizon Innovative Learning explorer lab:
The Verizon Innovative Learning explorer lab is an immersive learning experience that combines movie-quality video, special effects, and educational gaming to get kids excited about STEM. Participants climb aboard a custom-built motorcoach bus to experience a futuristic research lab that virtually transports them to outer space and lands on Mars.
The program introduces middle school students to the engineering design process as they must work in groups to design, communicate, and test rovers before they travel to Mars. Once on Mars, students must adapt their rovers to finish their mission, improving initial prototypes using tables and data charts to help construct a finalized design.
The Verizon explorer lab will be making a special appearance at the PAR Conference on April 17. Conference attendees may sign up at the conference for a ten-minute trip to Mars between 10 am and 12 pm.
The explorer lab will also host an open house following the luncheon speaker, from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm.